Patrick J.

Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May 1923, in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. The son of Michael Joseph Hillery and Ellen McMahon, he attended Miltown Malbay National School before going on to Rockwell College for his secondary education.

At third level he attended University College Dublin and when he graduated, with a degree in medicine in 1947, he returned to Miltown Malbay where he worked as a doctor, like his father had done before him. It was his role as General Practitioner that gave him a unique insight into families lack of opportunities, an experience that would stand to him during his political career.

He was a member of the National Health Council from 1955-1957 and from 1957-1959 he was Medical Officer for the Miltown Malbay Dispensary District. He was also Coroner for West Clare from 1958-1959.

On 27 October 1955, he married Mary Beatrice (Maeve) Finnegan who was also a doctor. They had a son, John and a daughter Vivienne (deceased).